A group of friends and I decided to have lunch at Tino's 15 December 2009. We arrived at noon and ordered an appetizer (flatbread and humus) which arrived at about 12:15. We ordered our main dishes at about 12:25. Unfortunately we ran out of time at 1:30 and had to go back to work, our main dishes still unserved. While we waited over an hour I observed that there were 2 wait staff, the restaurant was not large, and it was not busy. The waitress blamed the long wait on the kitchen. I am not sure this is entirly true as I asked for a glass of water when the main dishes were ordered and I was still waiting for it when we left. In my opinion, it should not take over an hour to prepare and serve a glass of water. Overall it was a very unsatisfactory and low calorie experience.
The menu has some interesting looking items on it, but the food we were served (the appetizer and a coke) was very ordinary. I can't comment on the main dishes as they were never served.
The service was poor in the extreme. It was difficult to get the attention of the waitress and when we did get her attention, she left us with the impression that she would have been happier if we weren't there. Not rude, just completely disinterested in us. There was absolutely no "engagement" between the waitress and our party which might have made us feel welcome. My friends and I have quirky senses of humour and since this event we have all been trying to figure out how the place stays in business treating its customers as we were treated. Best guesses so far are that it is a money laundering operation or run to generate a tax loss. It is certainly not in business to provide a fine dining experience for the people of Victoria!
The judgement of "Value" is very subjective. Monetarily the prices on the menu seemed a bit on the high side (Beef stir fry and French onion soup for about $20.00), but if they purchased you a good dining experience they would not be too far out of line. The real issue is that if you value your time, this is not the place to go.
We had lots of time to evaluate the ambience and it was pretty ordinary. A room full of tables and chairs. Clean enough, but not sparkling. It being the Christmas season a few Christmas themed decoration had been hung, but no great effort was expended.
The bottom line question is "Will I go back". The answer is no, no second chances for Tino's. I am a pretty patient person and have experienced poor service before but never to this degree. This is the first time I have ever abandoned a restaurant due to excessive wait time. This is my first review for Dine Here and I regret not discovering this site and reading the previous reviews on Tino's before going there. It might have saved my group from an unfortunate experience.